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Old 01-16-2009, 09:09 AM   #11
Slow Triathlete
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First Name: Scott
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Default Re: Virginia/Perique (VaPer) Showdown

Okay, this time my review will focus on another VaPer blend from pipesandcigars.com. This one is Hearth & Homes AJ’s VaPer. As with most of the H & H blends, this one is blended by Russ Oullette. This is how it is described on their site:

Blended with Andrew (AJ) Smith, this is a different turn on the Virginia/Perique genre. A variety of red Virginias is combined with a generous amount of Perique, and the mixture is slightly mellowed and sweetened by Green River black Cavendish.

Now I had high expectations for this blend because I love their Anniversary Kake and I have smoked a few bowls of their Louisiana Red so I know that Russ knows how to blend a VaPer. I was not let down at all. Read on.

First off the bag aroma was amazing! I opened up the ziplock and stuck my nose in. This blend has more of a sour smell than a lot of the other VaPer blends that I have tried so far. And you can also smell the Perique. That’s a good sign because now I know that there is a decent amount in there.

The blend came to me a bit dry so I stuck it in a bowl, wet a wash cloth with distilled water and put it over the top of the bowl for about 6 hours. Every few hours I would take the towel off and stir the tobacco around so that it re-hydrated evenly. After that I let it rest for a few days and then started smoking it. This review is after 6 bowls of this blend. I smoked it in both my Peterson #268 Zulu and a Peterson #80S Bent Bulldog and it performed well in both.

Packing was easy as this comes in a ribbon cut. I mostly used the gravity method and then pushed down another pinch on top. This seemed to work out rather well. Lighting was also extremely easy. The aroma that came out of the bowl reminded me a lot of Scottish Cake for some reason. For the half of the bowl my initial impressions were that this was absolutely the best bulk blend VaPer I have ever tried. Everything seems balanced throughout the whole smoke. There are never any ups or downs and I am wondering if it is the addition of the Cavendish that keeps everything flowing smoothly.

For the second half of the bowl the Perique does seem to pick up a bit. Not enough to deter most people but it definitely lets you know that it is there. This one smoked cool enough for me that it went all the way to the bottom of the bowl without any gurgling or steam sounds coming out of the bowl.

I will say that I did get one bowl going way too hot and smoked it way too fast. The result was a sour, “burnt” taste that lasted the rest of the smoke even after I had set it down to cool. My advice is to smoke this one slowly and you will be rewarded for the extra time.

Overall, I liked this blend more than the Anniversary Kake that is available from the same site. Like I stated above, this is by far the best bulk VaPer I have tried in this Showdown. I have two others from them, Louisiana Red and Virginia Spice, that I can’t wait to smoke. This one has taken over 4th place.

1) McConnell Scottish Cake
2) Escudo
3) GL Pease Filmore
4) H & H AJ’s VaPer5) H & H Anniversary Kake
6) Reiner’s Long Golden Flake
7) Treasures of Ireland - Limerick
8) Dorchester
9) Luxury Bullseye Flake
10) McClelland Bulk 2015
11) GL Pease Telegraph Hill
12) Kajun Kake
13) Luxury Navy Flake
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